Animation Behind the Scenes Video

Math Is Always Better With Cartoons

Turn Around Taxi Pic


I recently finished up a cartoon that will be used in an educational video at AIMS Education Foundation. It’s a 1st Grade math video and this particular cartoon is to help exemplify in visual form what the on-camera talent is explaining to the viewer.

So, being geared to 1st Grade means the art must be simple and fun which tends to make cartooning easier. This is the longest one I think I’ve done yet and it’s not even that long. It’s amazing how much time is needed to draw and ink all the art that goes into a cartoon. The actual animation doesn’t take that long, thanks to Adobe After Effects and the like. Inking is really the longest process, which I do in Adobe Illustrator.

At any rate, this first video shows the rough animation using just the drawn art I did with pencil and paper which was scanned into Adobe Photoshop to tweak and then placed into Adobe After Effects to animate.

That rough was then used as my guide for the final which is below. I used the same After Effects project and just swapped the old art with the new inked art. However, this always poses a few issues in that the images don’t typically swap seamlessly, so tweaking and reanimating here and there often occurs.

I believe this project took me a couple of weeks if not three weeks. I’m not entirely sure, but again, the animating was done around 2 or so days; whereas the inking of the art took 1 1/2 weeks or so. I love doing this sort of stuff and always invite the opportunity to do some animating. I hope you enjoyed watching as much as I enjoyed making. 🙂

Oh, and before I forget, the lovely on-camera talent in this video is Erin Heasley.

Till next time…

David (Cali Dingo)



Interesting Find Video

$500 Amazon Gift Card Giveaway? What Are This??


Yes, you read the title correctly. AIMS Education Foundation is giving away a $500 Amazon Gift Card or one of three $250 Amazon Gift Cards to some lucky teacher. I plug this because of three reasons:

1. I’m in the marketing video. Yes, I’m shamelessly plugging my acting talents on my own blog. Get over it. 🙂

2. I work for AIMS Education Foundation and couldn’t be prouder. AIMS is a non-profit organization that is changing the way educators teach and students learn.

3. How else will YOU have a chance to enter and win if you don’t know about it?

So, check out this video, head over to the survey and get yourself signed up to win one heckuva prize.

Oh, and I’m the guy on the left handing the candy bar.

Bon Courage!

Till next time…

David (Cali Dingo)




Cartoon Sample 1


It’s been a while. The holiday season and projects galore have been keeping me away from ye old blog. However, I am now finding time to start posting some of my projects for the internet world to view. Lots of great stuff coming down the pike. Keeps me busy, but keeps me creative.

This particular sample is of a cartoon I had the pleasure making for AIMS Educational Foundation. This goes with an educational video regarding Archimedes’ Principle. This video aims to help explain what Archimedes’ Principle is in layman’s terms. So, Archimedes sets to chiseling out the technical words in favor of words that make more sense to the average student… like me. 😉

I used Adobe After Effects to create this and didn’t use any bells or whistles. I did it the old fashioned way…. I drew each frame out and synched them using pencil and paper on a light board. I know, so techie, right? I’ve found for cartooning there is nothing like the tried and true. It turns out more fluid and the artist ends up having much more control over the animation and spends less time fighting the interface of your animation program.


Cartoon Sketch Sequence
Here is a section of the walk cycle in sketch form. I put all of these (approximately 40 cells) into After Effects and tweaked in Photoshop to make it as smooth as possible.


I then scanned the drawings into Adobe Illustrator to ink and color the frames.

I also created the sound effects using Garageband and Adobe Audition. The chisel sound was the only toughie. I ended up using two variations of a clave sample and effects loop of a chisel breaking ice; blended them together in Audition and came out with a satisfactory chisel sound.

Here is the cartoon sample.




I’ll be back with some samplings in the near future.

Till then…

David (Cali Dingo)